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Congregation of the Mission
|Founder||Vincent de Paul|
|Type||Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right (for Men)|
|Headquarters||Via dei Capasso 30, 00164 Roma, Italy|
|3,691 members (2,919 priests)|
|Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, C.M.|
Congregation of the Mission (Latin: Congregatio Missionis; CM) is a vowed, Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of priests and brothers founded by Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations who claim Vincent de Paul as their founder or Patron. They are popularly known as Vincentians, Paules, Lazarites, Lazarists, or Lazarians.
The Congregation has its origin in the successful mission to the common people conducted by Vincent de Paul and five other priests on the estates of the Gondi family. More immediately it dates from 1624, when the little community acquired a permanent settlement in the Collège des Bons Enfants in Paris. Archiepiscopal recognition was obtained in 1626. By a papal bull on January 12, 1633, the society was constituted a congregation, with Vincent de Paul as its head. About the same time the canons regular of St. Victor handed over to the congregation the priory of St. Lazarus (formerly a lazar-house) in Paris, hence the name of Lazarites or Lazarists.
Within a few years they had acquired another house in Paris and set up other establishments throughout France; missions were also sent to Italy (1638), Tunis (1643), Algiers and Ireland (1646), Madagascar (1648), Poland (1651), and Turkey (1783). A fresh bull of Alexander VII in April 1655 further confirmed the society; this was followed by a brief in September of the same year, regulating its constitution. The rules then adopted, which were framed on the model of those of the Jesuits, were published at Paris in 1668 under the title Regulae seu constitutiones communes congregationis missionis. The special objects contemplated were the religious instruction of the poor, the training of the clergy, and foreign missions.
On the eve of the French Revolution, St. Lazare was plundered by the mob and the congregation later suppressed; it was restored by Napoleon in 1804 at the desire of Pius VII, abolished by him in 1809 in consequence of a quarrel with the pope, and again restored in 1816. The Lazarists were expelled from Italy in 1871 and from Germany in 1873.
The Lazarite province of Poland was singularly prosperous; at the date of its suppression in 1796 it possessed thirty-five establishments. The religious institute was permitted to return in 1816, where it is very active. In Madagascar it had a mission from 1648 until 1674. In 1783 Lazarists were appointed to take the place of the Jesuits in the Levantine and Chinese missions; and in 1874 their establishments throughout the Ottoman Empire numbered sixteen. In addition, they established branches in Persia, Abyssinia, Mexico, the South American republics, Portugal, Spain, and Russia, some of which have been suppressed. In the same year they had fourteen establishments in the United States of America.
In the early 21st century, the Lazarites numbered about 4,000 worldwide, with a presence in 86 different countries. As of 2017[update], Tomaž Mavrič is the incumbent worldwide superior general of the Congregation of the Mission, elected during the community's general assembly on July 5, 2016.
Opus Prize Finalist
On August 30, 2007, The Catholic University of America, (with the Opus Prize 2004 Foundation, affiliated with The Opus Group), announced that it would award on November 8 a $1-million and two $100,000 Humanity prizes to finalist organizations which contributed to solve most persistent social problems: John Adams (of So Others Might Eat which serves the poor and homeless in Washington, DC); Stan Goetschalckx (founder and director of AHADI International Institute in Tanzania which educates refugees from Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi); and Bebot Carcellar of the Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation. On November 8, 2007, David M. O'Connell, president of Catholic University, personally bestowed these Opus Prizes at the university's Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.[excessive citations]
In 2008 the Vincentian family marked 150 years in the Philippines, led by the provincial Bienvenido M. Disu, Gregorio L. Bañaga, President of Adamson University, and Archbishop Jesus Dosado of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz. The Philippine province has a deacon, 5 incorporated brothers, and 97 priests. Its most impressive work in its history is the housing program for hundreds of families, especially those affected by demolitions and relocations along the Philippine North and South Railways (PNR) tracks.
The CBCP Newsletter announced on July 10, 2008, the appointment of the Philippine Marcelo Manimtim as director of Paris-based Centre International de Formation (CIF). Manimtim is the first Asian to hold the office.
In 1991, Carcellar was assigned to Payatas. With his "Planning for a new home, Systemic Change Strategy," he organized Philippine massive home constructions, which he began by a savings program at Payatas dumpsite. Carcellar's "The Homeless Peoples Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI)" provided slum dwellers of Iloilo City and Mandaue City with initiatives to survive poverty. In 2008 it promoted savings in Southeast Asia, since the Philippine Federation affiliated with an international network called "Slum/Shack Dwellers International".
Another, younger Vincentian was also assigned by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as the Coordinator of the Housing Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila. He sits at local Inter-agency meetings in order to negotiate better houses and social services for the informal settlers, as well as livelihood programs for them. And he represents the Church in the Metro Manila Inter-agency Committee on Shelter (MMIACS) in order to access funds for, and makes policies and guidelines for, the housing rights of the informal settlers of Metro Manila.
Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility (VCSR)
On September 28, 2007, Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro welcomed the launching of the Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility (VCSR) by the Adamson University. VCSR intends to engage the Adamson's academic community more deeply and directly in nation-building and to directly respond to Millennium Development Goals' poverty alleviation initiatives in the country. De Castro also cited the Adamson University and a Vincentian priest named Fr. Riles for their efforts in putting up the VCSR: “It is high time we introduce to students a concept of brotherhood that is not based on exclusivity ...At mas natutuwa ako na ang napili ninyong pilot community ay ang Southville relocation site sa Cabuyao (Laguna).”
VCSR is also responsible for the creation of the Vincentian Facilitators (VF), the Academic Social Responsibility (ASR), the Academic Social Entrepreneurship (ASE), and the Academic Social Journalism (ASJ) at the Vincentian-owned Adamson University. Through VCSR, the movement towards academic social networking has become a reality in the University. VCSR is also responsible for organizing the First Northville and Southville People's Congress, consisting of around 750,000 relocatees from Metro Manila and suburb cities and the municipalities of Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.
Prominent members of the congregation
Members of the congregation include:
- Thaddeus Amat y Brusi (1810-1878), first bishop of Los Angeles
- E. Bore (died 1878), orientalist
- P. Collet (1693-1770), writer on theology and ethics
- Armand David (1826-1900), Basque missionary and zoologist
- Jean-Claude Faveyrial (1813–1893), French historian and author of the first book on the history of Albania
- Pierre-Marie-Alphonse Favier (1837-1905), missionary to China, and Vicar Apostolic of North Zhili Province (1898-1905)
- Frederic Gehring (1903-1998), missionary to China and decorated chaplain during the Guadalcanal Campaign
- Joseph Lilly, translator of the Greek New Testament into English in 1946.
- Stéphanos II Ghattas (1920-2009), Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria for the Copts
- J. de la Grive (1689-1757), geographer
- Évariste Régis Huc (1813-1860), missionary and traveller
- Teodorico Pedrini (1671-1746), Chinese missionary and musician
- Stafford Poole (1936-), historian
- Franc Rode (1934-), Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
- Joseph Rosati (1789-1843), first bishop of St. Louis, Missouri
- David M. O'Connell (1955-), Bishop of Trenton
- Joseph Patrick Slattery, (1866-1931) physicist, radiologist, Catholic priest, pioneer in the field of radiography in Australia
- Georges Bou-Jaoudé (1943-), Archbishop of Tripoli, Lebanon for the Maronites
- Aba Shlimon (aka Pere Desire Solomon, Khwaja Shlimon) late 19th century Urmia, Persia, an Assyrian scholar
- Oscar Lukefahr, priest, theologian, writer, and Christian apologist
- Pedro Opeka, Argentinian missionary in Madagascar
- Bruce Vawter, chairman of religious studies from 1969 until 1986 at De Paul University
- Michael Prior, (1942-2004), Irish priest, liberation theologian, outspoken critic of Zionism
The religious institute runs the following institutions of higher education:
- Adamson University (Philippines)
- Universidad de Sta. Isabel (Philippines)
- Santa Isabel College Manila (Philippines)
- DePaul University (United States)
- Niagara University (United States)
- St. John's University (United States)
- Faculdade Vicentina, Curitiba, (Brazil)
Institutions formerly run by the institute:
- All Hallows College, Dublin, (Ireland)
- St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin (Ireland)
- St. Mary's University, Twickenham (United Kingdom)
- University of Dallas (United States)
- St. Vincent's College, forerunner to Loyola Marymount University; the present university is the successor to the first institution of higher learning in Southern California, St. Vincent's College. Vincentian Fathers were commissioned by Bishop Thaddeus Amat y Brusi to found this for boys in Los Angeles.
The Vincentian fathers also run a number of secondary schools, most notably in Dublin, Ireland, where the order is in charge of two such institutions.
- Castleknock College, Dublin, Ireland
- St. Paul's College, Raheny, Dublin, Ireland
- Colégio São Vicente de Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- St Stanislaus College (Bathurst), New South Wales, Australia
- Österreichisches Sankt Georgs-Kolleg, Istanbul, Turkey
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